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Cancer-Linked Fam190a Gene Found to Regulate Cell Division and Chromosomal Stability

Cancer-Linked Fam190a Gene Found to Regulate Cell Division and Chromosomal Stability | Marine biology | Scoop.it

Johns Hopkins cancer scientists have discovered that a little-described gene known as FAM190A plays a subtle but critical role in regulating the normal cell division process known as mitosis, and the scientists’ research suggests that mutations in the gene may contribute to commonly found chromosomal instability in cancer.

 

In laboratory studies of cells, investigators found that knocking down expression of FAM190A disrupts mitosis. In three pancreatic cancer-cell lines and a standard human-cell line engineered to be deficient in FAM190A, researchers observed that cells often had difficulty separating at the end of mitosis, creating cells with two or more nuclei. The American Journal of Pathology published a description of the work online May 17, which comes nearly a century after German scientist Theodor Boveri linked abnormal mitosis to cancer. Until now, there had been no common gene alteration identified as the culprit for cancer-linked mitosis.

 

“These cells try to divide, and it looks like they succeed, except they wind up with a strand that connects them,” explains Scott Kern, M.D., professor of oncology and pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Kimmel Cancer Center. “The next time they try to divide, all the nuclei come together, and they try to make four cells instead of two. Subsequently, they try to make eight cells, and so on.” Movies of the process taken by Kern’s laboratory are available on the journal Web site.

 

Kern’s group previously reported that deletions in the FAM190A gene could be found in nearly 40 percent of human cancers. That report, published in 2011 in the journal Oncotarget, and the current one are believed to be the only published papers focused solely on FAM190A, which is frequently altered in human cancers but whose function has been unknown. Alterations in FAM190A messages may be the third most common in human cancers after those for the more well-known genes p53 and p16, Kern says.

 

“We don’t think that a species can exist without FAM190, but we don’t think severe defects in FAM190A readily survive among cancers,” Kern says. “The mutations seen here are very special – they don’t take out the whole gene but instead remove an internal portion and leave what we call the reading frame. We think we’re finding a more subtle defect in human cancers, in which mitosis defects can occur episodically, and we propose it may happen in about 40 percent of human cancers.”

 

Abnormalities in FAM190A may cause chromosomal imbalances seen so commonly in cancers, Kern says. Multipolar mitosis is one of the most common functional defects reported in human cancers, and more than 90 percent of human cancers have abnormal numbers of chromosomes.

Kern says he plans to study FAM190A further by creating lab models of the subtle defects akin to what actually is tolerated by human cancer cells.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Science Team Outlines Goals for NASA's 2020 Mars Rover

Science Team Outlines Goals for NASA's 2020 Mars Rover | Marine biology | Scoop.it
The rover NASA will send to Mars in 2020 should look for signs of past life, collect samples for possible future return to Earth, and demonstrate technology for future human exploration of the Red Planet, according to a report provided to the agency.
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Harvard Chemistry Graduate Sues University And Adviser For $10 ...

Harvard Chemistry Graduate Sues University And Adviser For $10 ... | Marine biology | Scoop.it
A 2004 graduate of Harvard University's doctoral program in chemistry has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the university and chemistry professor Andrew G. Myers. The former student, Mark G. Charest, alleges that he has ...
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NCTC fall registration underway - Graham Leader

NCTC fall registration underway Graham Leader Subjects of study include agriculture, art, biology, chemistry, college prep English, college prep math, college prep reading, computer science, dance, drama, economics, education (associate of arts in...
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Debate Rages Over Obama Definition of College Sexual Harassment - TIME (blog)

Debate Rages Over Obama Definition of College Sexual Harassment - TIME (blog) | Marine biology | Scoop.it
Debate Rages Over Obama Definition of College Sexual Harassment
TIME (blog)
To hear the critics tell it, President Obama wants to restrict free speech at college, interfere with campus dating and “de-eroticize” university life.
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Deanna Moore's curator insight, November 22, 2013 11:06 AM
“To ensure students are not discouraged from reporting harassment, the [Montana] agreement allows students to report when they have been subjected to unwelcome sexual conduct, and requires the University to evaluate whether that conduct created ‘a hostile environment,’”
A direct quote from this article. This is response to the letter released from the Obama Administration to try andto encourage students to report what they believe to be sexual harassment on campus, regardless of whether the harassment is creating a hostile environment for students.

 
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Goffin's Cockatoos Can Solve Complex Mechanical Problems, Study Shows

Goffin's Cockatoos Can Solve Complex Mechanical Problems, Study Shows | Marine biology | Scoop.it

In a recent study, 10 untrained Goffin’s cockatoos faced a puzzle box showing a nut behind a transparent door secured by a series of five different interlocking devices, each one jamming the next along in the series. To retrieve the nut the birds had to first remove a pin, then a screw, then a bolt, then turn a wheel 90 degrees, and then shift a latch sideways.

One bird, called Pipin, cracked the problem unassisted in less than two hours, and several others did it after being helped either by being presented with the series of locks incrementally or being allowed to watch a skilled partner doing it.

 

The study authors were interested in the birds’ progress towards the solution, and on what they knew once they had solved the full task. The scientists found that the birds worked determinedly to overcome one obstacle after another even though they were only rewarded with the nut once they had solved all five devices. They suggest that the birds seemed to progress as if they employed a ‘cognitive ratchet’ process: once they discovered how to solve one lock they rarely had any difficulties with the same device again. This is consistent with the birds having a representation of the goal they were pursuing.

 

After the cockatoos mastered the entire sequence, the scientists investigated whether the birds had learnt how to repeat a sequence of actions or instead responded to the effect of each lock.

 

“After they had solved the initial problem, we confronted six subjects with so-called ‘transfer tasks’ in which some locks were re-ordered, removed, or made non-functional. Statistical analysis showed that they reacted to the changes with immediate sensitivity to the novel situation,” explained lead author Dr Alice Auersperg from Vienna University.

 

“The birds’ sudden and often errorless improvement and response to changes indicates pronounced behavioral plasticity and practical memory. We believe that they are aided by species characteristics such as intense curiosity, tactile exploration techniques and persistence: cockatoos explore surrounding objects with their bill, tongue and feet. A purely visual explorer may have never detected that they could move the locks,” said senior author Dr Auguste von Bayern of Oxford University.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Esta Lessing, CBAP®'s curator insight, January 24, 2014 11:40 PM

Are we as effective as Business Analysts when it comes to Problem Solving? An off the beaten track article about problem solving skills of Cockatoos.